House of Night: Untamed Chapter 10
After Neferet excuses herself from the meeting once Shekinah decides, you know, not to go to war, Zoey reflects on this with her usual keen insight:
Was she nuts? Was that what was going on? Could the “darkness” Nyx warned me about be the darkness inside Neferet’s crazy mind?
It is chapter 10 of the second book since the reveal that Neferet is actually evil and Zoey is still trying to figure out if Neferet is evil. I really don’t understand the holdup here. Zoey has observed Neferet turning dead children into a personal army of mindless serial killers and she’s still at “Is she nuts? Is the goddess trying to tell me that she’s dangerous?”
Shekinah announces that she doesn’t excuse Neferet’s “lapse in judgment”, but understands it.
“Time will soothe her wounds, as will the actions of the local police.”
Ah, yes, just like the famous saying, “Time and law enforcement heal all wounds”.
Shekinah assures the group that “perhaps modern science can still discover something” (I don’t know why I find everything Shekinah says so unintentionally hilarious) and asks Zoey for “the name of this honest human detective you know” (Everything! I don’t know what’s wrong with me). Shekinah announces her intentions to stay at the school until Neferet “is herself again”, which Zoey finds comfort in.
I mean, how crazy could Neferet act with the leader of all vamp priestesses here?
Well, now that you’ve spelled it out like that, probably very.
Shekinah plans to take over Loren Blake’s poetry class, while the drama class will be taken over by one of apparently four vampyres in the world (save for all the vampyre celebrities like Kenny Chesney, which is still a real thing that happened in this series):
“And I was lucky enough to catch Erik Night at the airport.”
How fortuitous that the leader of all vampyres happened to be at the airport at the same time as the only other character we know who has a connection with the exact same position that needed to be filled, and apparently wasn’t doing anything so terribly important at the airport that he couldn’t just drop it to accept a job! It’s important that we have that bit about happening to run into each other at the airport, because this story would be totally unbelievable otherwise.
Zoey panics, because of how awkward this will be, but not as much as she panics about… her hands….
Okay, I do not know what the hell came over me, but suddenly I realized I had an idea, and as if of its own free will, my hand dorkishly raised over my head like it thought we were in the middle of class and we (meaning my hand and my mouth minus my brain) had just discovered a brilliant answer.
PRO WRITING TIP: It’s okay to just write “I wasn’t sure why I was raising my hand” or something. Not everything moving the story forward has to read like the main character is suddenly possessed by the plot.
Zoey suggests that this might be a good time for the Dark Daughters to enact their plan to get involved with a local human charity, which intrigues Shekinah because it has potential to be a genuinely good way to amend vampyre-human relations. Except then there’s an awkwardly long scene where they all talk about how to do this while hiding the fact that they’re vampyres from the general public, which kind of… is not that.
After the meeting, we spend some time with Zoey’s friends.
“Wow,” Damien said, looking more than a little starstruck. “Shekinah! That was utterly unexpected, and she was even more resplendent than I’d imagine. I mean, I wanted to say something, but I was completely flummoxed.”
You have negative four guesses if this is another moment for the twins to make fun of how Damien uses lots of big words.
“Damien, for once we are not gonna give you a hard time about your pain-in-our-ass vocab obsession,” Shaunee said.
And yet that’s exactly what just happened. Look, it’s been four books. Can we please get another characteristic to flesh out these characters? Maybe Damien has been getting really into podcasts, or the twins have taken up bird watching. Something. Anything. Because by this point these books are a little less “featuring well-rounded characters” and a little more “basically just Mad Libs”.
Zoey’s friends once again tell her that they get why she was lying to them and they’re glad that’s over. The twins awkwardly ask for all the hot deets about Zoey and Loren’s sex life. Damien points out that maybe this is why Zoey doesn’t share everything with them, which would make a surprising amount of sense for a character in this book if he didn’t immediately behave obliviously hypocritically, aka just like a character in this book.
“Give the girl some privacy,” Damien said. “The Loren thing was very traumatic for her, what with the Imprint and the loss of virginity and Erik!”
This is why I can’t totally believe that we’re actually supposed to like all these characters, because “Maybe Zoey doesn’t want to talk or even think about [list of everything she doesn’t want to talk or even think about]” isn’t really selling me on how Zoey’s friends are being totally supportive again.
Also like every character in this book, Erik suddenly shows up out of nowhere. Because there are seriously only like seven people at this school. Zoey’s friends strike up a conversation about how he’s their teacher now, and he admits that he’s kind of uncomfortable doing it. Zoey tries to help. Seriously. This is one of those rare moments where Zoey is being an actual decent human being, and someone else is being a bigger jackass.
“I think Professor Nolan would be glad you’re going to do it,” I [said.]
“Did you gain a new affinity?” His tone wasn’t outright hateful, but his words were definitely clipped and cold. “Can you speak to the dead now?”
Even if that’s a pretty decent burn and I’m kind of jealous that I didn’t write it.